Mark S. Perry, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, a stockbroker formerly registered with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., has been suspended for eighteen months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity by consenting to findings that he made unsuitable investment recommendations to customers. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2015044939901 (Sept. 7, 2017).
According to the AWC, Perry made unsuitable investment recommendations to four of the firm’s customers that were retired and elderly. Apparently, those customers’ assets were concentrated heavily in precious metals investments, where Perry made recommendations for customers to hold their positions in exchange traded funds and mutual funds for extended periods. The AWC indicated that in at least one customer’s case, the investments were held for as long as nine-hundred sixty-three days.
FINRA found that Perry made unsuitable investment recommendations by considering the customers’ objectives for investing, tolerance for risk, age and retiree status. FINRA further stated that Perry lacked an adequate foundation for concluding that the exchange traded funds and leveraged mutual funds should be held by any investor for the periods in which Perry recommended. Evidently, the four elderly customers incurred an estimated $200,000.00 in unrealized losses because of Perry’s unsuitable recommendations. Consequently, FINRA found that Perry’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010, 2111(a) and NASD Rule 2310.
Moreover, the AWC reported that Perry made false statements in the four customers’ account records between February of 2012 and March of 2015. Apparently, the customers’ tolerance for risk was misstated by Perry in order to enable him to make recommendations of speculative and high-risk investments. FINRA found that Perry’s actions in that regard constituted violations of FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511(a).
FINRA indicated that Perry made misleading statements to at least one customer while recommending securities transactions, referring to Perry’s statements about the potential for a stock to explode; how a stock price would not be decreased below a certain point; and the projected increase in precious metals valuations. Perry reportedly acknowledged to having made the statements solely to boost the customer’s confidence regarding the customer’s existing investments. Perry’s conduct was found by FINRA to be violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2210(d)(1).
Further, Perry was cited by FINRA for having concealed customer disputes when associated with Royal Alliance Securities and Independent Financial Group, LLC, wherein customers complained about losses on investments. Evidently, the firms were unable to comply with obligations regarding customer complaints due to Perry’s concealment. FINRA found that Perry’s conduct in that regard was violative of FINRA Rule 2010.
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Perry has been subject of five customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of his misconduct while employed with Royal Alliance and Independent Financial Group. Particularly, on February 6, 2015, a customer filed an investment related written complaint involving Perry’s conduct, wherein the customer requested more than $5,000.00 in damages founded upon accusations that Perry made unsuitable investment recommendations to the customer concerning exchange traded funds and stock investments.
Subsequently, on August 11, 2015, a customer filed an investment related written complaint involving Perry’s conduct, in which the customer sought $27,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that Perry inappropriately managed the customer’s account and was responsible for the customer’s over-the-counter equities losses. Then, on October 27, 2015, a customer initiated investment related written complaint regarding Perry’s activities was resolved for $60,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that Perry effected unsuitable, unauthorized and excessive transactions that failed to conform with the customer’s tolerance for risk and objectives for investing.
Further, on February 6, 2016, a customer filed an investment related written complaint regarding Perry’s activities, where the customer requested $5,000.00 in damages formed by accusations that Perry placed inappropriate stock and exchange traded fund transactions in the customer’s account. Perry has also been subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim, which settled for $55,000.00 in damages on January 17, 2017, based upon allegations that a variable annuity was not suitable for the customer.
Perry’s registration with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. was terminated on March 24, 2015.
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